October 19

Greetings Grade 5 Community,

In UOI this week, 5A began the research component of our Migration Museum assessment. Students have been tasked with examining their migrant through the lens of the key concepts: reasons for migration (causation), how migration results in change (change) & perspectives related to migration (perspective). Next week we will combine our literacy focus (narrative) with UOI and write a migration story, to be delivered in the first-person at the migration museum.

In literacy, this week we continued our examination of time connectives, and began to look at different types of emotive language. The class participated in an ‘Emotive Language Battle’ where they took a standard sentence, adapted it to include a range of emotive terms, before presenting it to their opponent in front of the class. On Monday we finished reading Macbeth, and the class enjoyed an in-depth discussion around the themes of the play. 5A is eagerly awaiting the high school production coming up in November. Our guided reading also continued this week, and all groups appear to be thoroughly engaged in their books.

In Math, we began examining data in preparation for the math component of the migration assessment. Students have been reading and interpreting graphs related to migration. They were tasked with finding specific information, drawing conclusions about the data, and writing sentences to show their understandings. Next week students will need to find specific data related to their migrant, so that the information can be used to help tell their migration story.

Some of you may have noticed that the Chromebooks began coming home this week. I have granted some students permission to continue their school work at home, if necessary. Students will only be permitted to take a Chromebook home during the week, and if they have school work to go on with. 


Please be reminded that Tuesday October 23rd is our field-trip to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. We will leave school at 8.30, and plan to be back by 11.30. Please ensure your child has returned the permission slip. They will need a hat, snack, water bottle and suitable walking shoes.

Dinner Time Talk

What happened to Macbeth at the end of the play?

What do you think the moral of the play is?

What changes did your migrant experience when they arrived in their new home?

How has Vietnam changed since the arrival of the migrant community?

October 5

Greetings Grade 5 Community,

Thank you to all parents who made it along to the parent / teacher conferences on Monday. I very much enjoyed spending some time with you, and discussing your child’s progress this year.

Migration continues to be our focus. Students are beginning to make decisions about what migrant story they would like to tell. We made this decision today, after examining a range of fiction, non-fiction and personal migration stories in class. This story will be presented by celebrating all disciplines at a migration showcase on October 30. Please stay tuned for a formal invitation.

In Math, we have continued our investigation into factors. This week the class investigated ‘The Locker Problem.’ Students used their knowledge of multiples and factors to make predictions about number patterns. When we return from break, students will use an area model to complete multi digit multiplication problems.

In Literacy, our focus has been on punctuation, grammar conventions and incorporating time connectives into our writing. When we return from break, students will draft a narrative story including paragraphs and dialogue.

We will return to school in a week’s time, enjoy this week as a family. Read, relax, reconnect. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again on Monday October, 15.

Dinner Time Talk

What migrant did you choose to portray?

What artifact will you showcase in art?

What plans do you have for your IAct time?

Do you have all the resources you need?

Week 6

Greetings Grade 5 Community

This week in 5A, students have been connecting the current Key Concepts (change, causation & perspective) to the many migration stories we have been reading in class. Students understand that migration happens for many reasons and have been able to categorise them into push and pull factors.

The migration tracking is beginning to take shape. I have heard many interesting stories of family migration this week, and the maps are eliciting some exciting conversations. Next week students will choose a migration story of interest to them. Talking with your child about the reasons why you, or your ancestors moved from one place to another will help deepen their understanding. Students who have not experienced migration themselves will have the opportunity to research a famous migrant of their choice.


In literacy, this week we formed our reading groups and selected our first books. Students will get into their reading groups every week to read together and discuss their books. We began our new read aloud ‘Refugee’, and have also been responding in writing to the narrative migrant stories we’ve been reading all week.


In math this week, students have been inquiring into multiplication by investigating factors. Some interesting discoveries were made about prime and composite numbers.

Grade Five Retreat / Camp

At camp this year, we will visit a local school. We are asking each student to bring an English book to donate to an English library.

An overview of the few days is available here.

Any medications MUST be delivered to the School Health Center the day before departure. Written instructions must include the following:

  • Student’s full name
  • Grade
  • Diagnosis
  • Name of medications
  • Times to be given
  • Parent signature

No medication from home will be administered without the above information.

Save the date


Wednesday 26th – 28th: G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)


Monday 1st: ES Parent / Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)

Monday 8th: 12th – Autumn Break

Monday 29th: All Grade 5 homerooms bake sale items needed


Thursday 1st-2nd: Faculty / Staff Professional Development Day (No School or ASAs for ES)

Thursday 15th-16th: ES Open Classrooms


Friday 7th: UN day

Dinner Time Talk

  • What celebration happened at school this week?
  • What is the story behind the celebration? (ask about the assembly)
  • What is a prime number?
  • Tell me about some of the push / pull factors behind migration.
  • What is the Rohingya crisis?

Your help needed:
We continue to look for a class parent to support 5A. Please let me know if you are interested.

Have a migration story to share? Let me know, we would love to have you come in and share your family stories with us.


“Building friendships with people from dissimilar backgrounds and diverse perspectives will make you wiser and more creative” Rick Warren



Week 5

Greetings 5A Community,

This week in 5A, students worked with Ms Michelle and Ms Nhan in the new ‘Makerspace’ to earn themselves safety badges. Their mission was to demonstrate they could use tools such as box cutters, scissors and hot glue guns safely. They had a short design challenge and were assessed on their ability to perform tasks safely.

This Week in Literacy

We began the week reading & performing Macbeth. We finished our first read aloud for the year, Because of Winn Dixie and the class responded in writing. On Thursday, the class read and The Dot for International Dot Day (Sept 15), and then proceeded to decorate the classroom with their creative dots. Today students completed a pre-assessment for narrative writing. Once moderated, the class will set about writing their own narrative stories involving migration.

Migration Provocation Kicks off the new UOI

In UOI on Tuesday, Students experienced a range of different countries. Students had to abide by the rules in the country which included immigration laws, language barriers, human rights (and lack thereof).

You can support your child’s understanding of migration by talking with them about the reasons you or your parents relocated from one place to another, and how this is different from going on holiday. Some of the important vocabulary from the unit that you can begin using at home include:

  • Human Migration
  • Immigration
  • Migrant
  • Refugee
  • Emigration
  • Displacement
  • Push/Pull Factors
  • Border

This week in Math

5A continued to examine multiplication and the concept of place value. I was absent for three days (Wed, Thurs & Fri) so that I could complete course one of Math Recovery AddVantage. I look forward to implementing my learning with the class over the coming year.

Class Parent

I am still looking for a class parent. If you have some interest in the position, please let me know. It is possible for two parents to share the role, so don’t be shy! I am happy to work closely with whomever takes up the position.

Save the dates

  • Monday Sept. 17 – Healthy Snack Sale (10VND per snack, limit 2 per child)
  • Wednesday 19th September – G5 Math Coffee Morning with Ms Beth 8:30 – 9:30
  • Thursday September 20 – Moon Festival (Students encouraged to wear Ao Dai)
  • Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
  • Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)
  • Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
  • Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Dinnertime Discussions:

How is migration connected to your identity?

What are the essential parts of a narrative storyline?


Week 4

Greetings 5A Community,

Our Essential Agreements: During community time over the past two weeks, we have been focused on establishing expectations to keep the class happy and productive all year. Below you will find the product of our hard work, our 5A Essential Agreements, signed with fingerprints to show our agreement.

UOI – Identity

This week, students have been hard at work on their summative project. They have been tasked with creating an artifact that represents their identity. They have all planned and built sculptures featuring parts of their identity most important to them. Some students will have some final touches to make over the weekend, before we present the artifacts to the Grade five cohort next week.


Back to School Night

Thank you to the families that attended Back to School Night, last night. It was a pleasure to spend some time sharing what the year ahead looks like for your child. I have attached the slide show for you to view below. I am still searching for a class parent volunteer, so if you have some interest in the position, please let me know.

G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)

By now you should have received the excursion package. These are important documents that require careful reading.

We do our best to provide support for all students, especially those who have not stayed away, overnight, from family before. The hardest part for many students is the build-up and the fear of the unknown. Mr Dylan (G5 councilor) will speak with all students early next week about the additional lunch/recess drop in sessions on offer for children who would like to mentally prepare themselves for camp. Mr Dylan will also work on a case by case basis for children with high levels of anxiety over the coming weeks, leading up to camp.

The teachers and other faculty members attending camp have your child’s best interests at heart. We are all very experienced and we understand the range of social and emotional needs children can experience when away from their parents.

If you have any concerns, please contact me directly, as I am here to support you and your child with this new experience.

Math Coffee Morning

Learn more about how Math is structured in G5 by attending the Grade 5 Math Coffee Morning on Wednesday, Sept 19 from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. This will be lead by Ms Beth, our ES Math Coach.

Save the Dates:

  • Tuesday 11th September – Parent Community Morning with Head of School – 8am
  • Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Overnight Excursion (Camp)
  • Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)
  • Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)
  • Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Ordering headphones

Some photo highlights from the week:

Week 3

Greetings 5A Community

This week 5A students have been working towards understanding what ‘Identity’ means to them. The lines of inquiry that help guide these understandings are:

  • Identity
  • Factors that influence identity
  • Sharing and expressing our identity
  • How our identity connects us with the global community

Students have been inquiring into the ways in which they discover and express ideas, feelings, culture, beliefs and values. Students have been very creative in their tasks, creating poetry and static images that reflect and connect their individual identity with the global community. Check your child’s Seesaw account to see what they have been up to.

On Wednesday, students had the opportunity to present a personal artifact brought in from home. We first had to guess the owner of each artifact, before hearing a short presentation about personal connections to the objects.

On Thursday the class heard speeches and elected their Student Council representatives. Congratulations to Noi & Jack, who narrowly gained victory via secret ballot.

This week we have also been busy establishing our 5A Essential Agreements. We have identified attributes that make up a ‘super awesome, inspiring and engaging teacher & learning environment’. Next week we will compile the results and sign our agreement.

In math this week, students have been working hard to further develop their understanding of multiplication. We began the week by identifying our multiplication strengths and weaknesses, before spending some time practicing our times tables.

In literacy, we kicked off the week by reading the first two scenes from Macbeth. Students took turns reading and acting the roles on stage, while the audience read along from their own scripts. We discussed the vocabulary, themes and meanings implied by Shakespeare. The remainder of the week was spent reading and writing poetry. Please take a look at your child’s Seesaw page for more.

5A and 2A Buddies

This Thursday was the first time we met our new buddies. Students spent time getting to know each other, before 5A helped 2A with a Seesaw post. We will meet with our buddies fortnightly to develop and support our school values of community, learning and responsibility.

Back to School Night

You should have received an email from our ES Principal, Megan Brazil with important information about our Back to School night. In a nutshell, there are two sessions that you can attend. One begins at 6:00pm, the other at 6:30. Please come to room B9 – G27. This is your opportunity to come and meet me. I will go over the year ahead and answer any questions about the G5 program you may have. Specialist teachers will also be available from 6:00pm till 7:30pm.

Link to Megan’s email

Save the Date

Monday 3rd September – Vietnam National Day celebration – NO SCHOOL!

Tuesday 4th September – ASAs and Youth Sports Begin- Please inform the transport department regarding arrangements for your child if they go by bus.

Thursday 6th September – Back to School Night – 6pm

Tuesday 11th September – Parent Community Morning with Head of School – 8am

Wednesday 26th – 28th September – G5 Excursion (Camp)

Thursday 27th September – EAL Coffee Morning for new families (Returning families are more than welcome to attend)

Monday 1st October – ES Parent – Teacher Conferences (No School or ASAs for ES)

Monday 8th – 12th October – Autumn Break

Dinner Time Talk

What is the meaning or story behind your name?

What game did you play this week during the G5 community time?

How can we reduce our use of single use plastics?


“Identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is not just who you are.  It is a process that you must be active in. It’s not just parroting your parents or the thoughts of your learned teachers. It is now more than ever about understanding yourself So you can become yourself” – Joss Whedon



Greetings 5A parents,

This week we officially began our first unit of inquiry on identity. We started to develop our 5A identity by establishing essential agreements, and students explored their individual identities through drama, art, math and language. Next week I plan to run an artifact activity. I have requested all students bring to school a personal item they can share with the class. I would like these items at school on Monday; please remind your child.

In literacy we have been reading Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. We have been noting the character traits (identity) of the main character, Opal. We have also written SMART goals for the first half of the year. Math has been centered on building a “growth mindset,” the belief that all students can be good at math.

Throughout the week, students will highlight aspects of their learning on SeeSaw. Here is a link to log on. For more detailed directions, please see my post from last week.


This year, Tech Support is going to share the tech online forms directly to parents via Veracross. Kindly check your email and sign the following:

  • Responsible Use Agreement, a document which explains what it means to be a responsible digital citizen.
  • Device Acceptance Form, which outlines the responsibilities to return the Devices in good condition when requested by the school.
  • Device Loss/Damage Programme (optional for parents to join)


  • Sign up to your child’s Seesaw platform
  • Sign up for ASAs and Youth Sports
  • Read to or with your child every night
  • Bring in Headphones for school

Students are expected to read at home for 30 minutes each day. Students are encouraged to have a book at home, at school and in their backpacks.

Save the Date:

  • Mon 27th Aug is 5A’s class photo day
  • Thursday 6th September is Back to School Night
  • Grade 5 Retreat September 26, 27, 28

Dinner Time Talk

  • What artifact will you take to share at school?
  • How does the title “Because of Winn Dixie” relate to the story?
  • What advice or lessons were the math videos teaching this week?



Welcome to the 5A Blog

Greetings 5A Community,

Welcome to our first blog post of the year. We have had a wonderful time this week getting to know each other by engaging in team building activities and developing routines that allow us to work safely and productively. I feel very privileged to be working with your children.

Class schedules and calendars have been sent home. The calendar contains important holiday information. For more detailed information, you will need to follow the instructions included inside for how to connect to the school’s Google Calendar.

This blog is the main form of communication between 5A and home. Each week I will post what we have done during the week, and preview what to expect the following week.

SeeSaw – The student platform

This year elementary students will be using ‘Seesaw’ to reflect and share their learning with home. Seesaw is private; only people who are invited to view will see posts created by your child.

Please Sign Up Now

Click on this link: https://app.seesaw.me/s/759-946-149

  1. Choose your child from the list
  2. Create your account
  3. Once I approve you, you can see content from your child

After you sign up, download the free Seesaw Family app and sign in. You can also access Seesaw from a computer at https://app.seesaw.me.

If you used Seesaw last year or have more than one child using Seesaw, follow the link above, then click the ‘Sign in’ tab at the top of the screen. You do not need to create a new account.

Housekeeping Hints

Each day students should bring to school:

  1. A hat to enjoy outside play
  2. A reusable water bottle to keep with them at all times
  3. Personal headphones, preferably with microphone (very important for clear recording).

I look forward to meeting you at our ‘Back-to-School Night’ on the evening of September 6th. You can also drop me an email at dbrewster@unishanoi.org. I do not answer emails while I’m teaching, so if it is important, please contact the ES office.

If your child takes the bus to or from school, please ensure that you contact the transport department if there is a change to their bus schedule.

Save the Date:

September 6th – Back to School Night